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"What were you thinking?"

Peter gaped at his ex-mentor. Was he serious?

"What was I – what was I-?" He spluttered. The side of his suit was burnt, and hanging limply off his body. Some of his skin had been scorched, but it was not as bad as a lot of the other burns Peter had received.

He sat in one of Mr Stark's ridiculously expensive cars, in his basement, where he kept pretty much everything he owned. Mr Stark was rummaging around in one of his storage rooms while speaking angrily to Pete.

"Yes!" Tony said exasperatedly. He walked out of the cupboard with three or four boxes piled in his arms.

"What were you thinking? Taking your mask off in the middle of New York City – did you forget that a group of incredibly dangerous criminals know your identity?" He dumped the boxes on one of his workbenches. "You could've gotten yourself killed." Mr Stark said hesitantly, rubbing his face wearily.

"What do you even care?" Peter asked angrily, slumping in the driver's seat.

Mr Stark didn't answer, but picked up a spanner and chucked it at a metal cabinet. It left a relatively deep dent and made a very loud noise. Peter fell silent, staring awkwardly at his hands. Tony leant against the workbench, breathing heavily.

There were a few minutes of heavy silence before Peter found the courage to speak up.

"What're you working on?" Yeah, I know. Feeble attempt at starting a conversation, sure, but thankfully Mr Stark played along.

"Uh, just a new prototype for mark 47 – that is, the new design, which could technically be called mark 48, but that's beside the point..."

Peter's mind said goodbye, for the hundredth time.

"Hey, kid? You with me?" Mr Stark was standing at the boot of the car, a concerned expression on his face.

"What? Oh, yeah. I'm-I'm fine." Peter muttered, startled. He shook his head, trying to rid his vision of the dark vignettes at the corners. That wasn't a good sign.

Tony didn't answer straight away, just pulled his eyebrows together suspiciously.

"Okay, sure." He said eventually, disbelief laced in his tone.

"Yeah..." Peter said, letting out a shaky breath, that could've been mistaken for a nervous laugh.

"Anyway, kid, as I was saying before you wandered off to la la land, I could use your help with this project. Of course, you don't have to, I just thought it could be fun, and, you know..."

Peter shook his head quickly.

"No, no. Of course, I can help. Um...what do you want me to do?" he asked hurriedly. He opened the car door, pushing it open. And it worried him how difficult that one, small action was. It tired him mentally, as well as physically.

But as soon as his feet touched the floor, his knees buckled, and his head hit the floor. The world fell into darkness at the worried shout from Mr Stark.


When Peter woke, he was lying in the softest bed in the world, and had the worst headache he could ever have imagined. He squinted through his half-shut eyelids, as his fingers curled into fists around the thin sheets that covered him lightly. He could feel an egg on his forehead.

"You know, usually when someone asks you if you're okay – unless you're a genius billionaire who can actually take care of himself (figured I had to put that in there) – you don't just say 'yes', when clearly, you aren't." Came Mr Stark's voice from somewhere to his left. He rolled his head to the side and saw the billionaire sitting at a metal desk, a meter or so away from the bed Peter lay in. He blinked groggily.

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